Monash Uni looks at shared services initiative

Strengthened buying power and improved IT services for 50,000 students

Monash University is rolling out a shared services initiative set to strengthen buying power with standardised hardware and software platforms and improve IT services for its 50,000 students.

Improvements to asset, desktop and data centre management will involve the introduction of common tools and processes for IT planning and procurement and a high quality server hosting service.

University IT service desk sites will be unified under a single phone triage service for students across its six Victorian campuses, while new processes have been implemented to minimise IT disruption to the business through its IT Information Library (ITIL) deployment.

A “transparent and fair chargeback system” for university departments will be introduced alongside improvements to IT reporting and service delivery.

The university has also established an IT vendor and contract management office that has shored up buying power and decreased the university's carbon footprint and vendor management risks.

ICT shared services program director for Monash University, Chris Bridge, said the university has a range of help desk systems across the faculties and divisions.

“There are currently four different IT help desk platforms, and up to eight separate help desks that utilise separate instances of those systems,” he said.

“One of our key goals is to consolidate the number help desk systems and support processes, while also introducing integrated IT service management processes across the IT functions in faculties and divisions.”

Monash identified seven suppliers from its initial request for information. The selection process then issued a request for proposal and two vendors were asked to submit, ‘best and final offers’ towards the end of the process.

The final vendors involved, one of whom was BMC, had global capability in the supply Service Desk and IT Service Management software and services. BMC won the $2 million contract to supply of a range of software and services.

“This was a very competitive tender, and the process involved a very significant number of staff from all our faculty and divisions in the evaluation and selection process,” Bridge said. “Ultimately BMC offered Monash the best overall solution for a fully-integrated service management platform that will enable Monash to deliver more efficient IT services and improve service quality.”

Monash was also impressed with the out-of-the-box integration that enables workflow management of incidents, changes, service requests and asset management.

The university’s CIO of 11 years, Alan McMeekin, retired at the end of 2009, having set the university on the path toward a five-year IT transformation.

McMeekin had previously postponed plans to retire in order to get the university’s transformation plans up and running.

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